Archive for the ‘ NBA Draft ’ Category

Jabari Parker Duke NBA draft 2014

Editor’s Note:
This is a guest post by Ron of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.Com. For more fantasy basketball updates, you can follow Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page or like it on Facebook.

We all made several predictions about the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft. And although there were some difference, at least we believed we were certain about the top three spots. And then Joel Embiid’s injury came to completely change the picture of this upcoming, loaded draft. Let’s see how things shape up after Embiid’s game – changing injury.

No.1: Jabari Parker
Parker is characterized as the most NBA – ready player, a ready – made star who can start making his presence felt from Day 1 of his NBA career. If that wasn’t enough for the Cleveland Cavaliers to select him at the top of the upcoming draft, then Joel Embiid’s injury came to seal the deal. Parker now stands the most chances to be the top pick.

No.2: Andrew Wiggins
With Embiid out of the equation, Wiggins will definitely land in one of the top two spots. Assuming that the Cavs pick Parker, the Milwaukee Bucks, who hold the second pick will select Wiggins. The Kansas product can pair with Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee’s perimeter to form a young duo with tons of potential.

No.3: Dante Exum
Exum is another player who will benefit from Embiid’s injury, as he is now considered a lock for the top three. The Philadelphia 76ers, however, are not benefited at all. Philly wanted to land Wiggins and now, they will have to settle for a guy like Dante Exum at No.3. He is a 6’6” guard who can play either of the two backcourt positions. If the 76ers select him they could either place him alongside Michael Carter-Williams or trade one of the two.

No.4: Noah Vonleh
Vonleh just recently climbed to No.4 and he is now considered as the top big man prospect of the upcoming draft. The Orlando Magic will be more than happy to pick a player like Vonleh thus placing a capable forward to pair with Victor Oladipo. The Magic also hold the 12th pick of the upcoming draft, one they can use to pick a point guard.

No.5: Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid is projected to get selected somewhere around the fifth and sixth spot. If the Utah Jazz don’t try to move up, selecting Embiid will make sense for them. Utah is a young team which aims to build its future rather than to contend for a playoff spot next season. So, Embiid can be a great investment for the future.

No.6: Marcus Smart
The Boston Celtics have been linked to Marcus Smart since the start of the season. The 6’3” guard is a NBA – ready prospect who can provide instant help to the C’s next season. But Smart can also be developed and be a solid piece of Boston’s rotation, as the team tries to complete its rebuild.

No.7: Julius Randle
There has been much speculation about the Los Angeles Lakers and their seventh overall pick. The Lakers are rumored to be involved in a potential Kevin Love trade together with the Golden State Warriors and in this case they will send their seventh pick to the Dubs. However, if this deal doesn’t go down, the Lakers will most probably select Julius Randle, a prospect they have been eying and working out for months now.

No.8: Elfrid Peyton
Peyton saw his stocks exploding during the last couple of weeks. He suddenly entered the top 10 and at the moment he seems like a great choice for the Sacramento Kings at No.8. The 6’4” guard could be a great replacement for Isaiah Thomas.

No.9: Doug McDermott
McDermott is another player who gained a few spots in the mock drafts as of lately. He is an excellent shooter and he could be a great pick for the Charlotte Hornets at No.9. He is projected to at least make the top 10.

No.10: Aaron Gordon
Gordon slipped to the last spot of the top 10 since Embiid’s injury. He is still considered to be one of the best big men who will enter the league through the 2014 NBA Draft. The Philadelphia 76ers, who hold the 10th pick can add him to their arsenal and pair him with Nerlens Noel.

Andrew Wiggins Kansas Dunk Jabari Parker Duke NBA draft

Editor’s Note:

This is a guest post by Ron of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.Com. For more fantasy basketball updates, you can follow Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page or like it on Facebook.

The 2014 NBA Draft is one of the most talked–about of the last decade and it is also considered to be loaded with stars. Most GMs, especially from teams which are not currently active in the postseason, are already planning their next moves during the post season. We already know which players will be at the top spots of the upcoming NBA draft. What we don’t know just yet is what impact those players can have in your fantasy team. Let’s examine the top prospects of the upcoming draft from a fantasy perspective.

Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins is a controversial player with no doubt. He has received loads of criticism during his college days and although he was rumored to make it to the top of the draft, at present this doesn’t seem to be the case. However, Wiggins can still have a big impact to your fantasy team. He averaged 17.1 PPG and 5.9 RPG during his last season in college and although we might see those numbers dropping a bit when he enters the NBA, he is still considered to have tons of potential. As a fantasy owner, if you decide to draft him, you will most probably not regret it.

Jabari Parker

Parker is one of the top prospects for the upcoming draft and he has made it to the top of the list of several draft analysts. He stands lots of chances to make it to the No.1 of the 2014 NBA Draft. He seems to be the most NBA – ready player of his class, maybe together with Joel Embiid. Last season he averaged 19.1 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 47.3 FG% and 35.8 3P%. If those numbers seem too good to be true for a 19 – year old kid, you will be surprised to hear that most analysts project Parker to record around 20.0 PPG as soon as he enters the league. So is there any question about his potential?

Joel Embiid

Another very capable youngster who will enter the NBA through the upcoming draft and the best center of his class is Joel Embiid. Health will always be an issue for Embiid and in fact, his injury issues might be the only thing stopping him from making it to the top of the 2014 draft. However, if he manages to stay healthy, he will certainly make his impact felt in the upcoming draft. Last season he averaged 11.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.6 BLKPG and 62.6 FG%. Will these numbers fall once he makes it to the NBA? For sure, as he will have to match against the best centers in the league. But still, he will be a good fantasy option at center.

Julius Randle

Randle is characterized by many as a double – double machine. He is a very strong forward who averaged 15.0 PPG, 10.4 RPG and 50.0 FG% last season. You should expect him to stay close to these numbers once he enters the league. He is a player to watch for your fantasy team.

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament

By James Blackburn

The 62nd annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament recently concluded this past Easter weekend in beautiful Portsmouth, VA. Dozens of European scouts, agents, and teams were on hand to watch the some of the top collegiate seniors in the nation compete in a 3 game tournament. In addition to overseas representatives, nearly every NBA and NBDL had at least one scout and other front office personnel in attendance to scout the talent represented. The event took place at Churchland HS and was open daily to the public. 64 players were split up between 8 teams, whose names were based on local businesses who help sponsor the event.

https://www.portsmouthinvitational.com/2014_TEAM_ROSTERS.htmlTeam Rosters can be found here

Measurements were once again taken measuring players heights, weights, vertical, and wingspan, these results can be found here.

Here are reports on some of the top performers at the event split up by positions.

Guards

Tim Frazier (PG, 6’1”, Penn State)

Smart PG who uses ball screens exceptionally well. Showcased a solid floater once he reached lane area. Is excellent in transition and kept dribble alive until he had passing angle or a shot to score. Stronger then he looks and has a nice change of speed. One of the top PG’s here.

 

Travis Bader (SG, 6’5”, Oakland)

Undoubtedly the top shooter at the event, the NCAA All-Time leader in threes made for a career (504) put on a show throughout the 3 games, knocking down triple after triple. Terrific form and release and got good elevation as well. Moved well without the ball but struggled to score with pressure. Limited on the defensive end but showed a willingness to give 100% hustle and energy on this end. Played his way onto an NBA Summer League roster spot in my mind.

 

David Stockton (PG, 5’11”, Gonzaga)

One of the top pure PG’s at the event and was able to run his team very well. Excellent passer in both half-court and in transition. Found his teammates and was able to create easy shots for others. Size is a major issue as he is vulnerable to the post up and struggled to finish inside. Didn’t even look to score half the time instead opting out for the pass. Did show some craftiness finishing with the off hand on several drives and moved his feet well on the perimeter. Needs to improve shooting, especially from the NBA 3 pt line. The HOF John Stockton was in attendance to watch his son the entire event. Should carve out a nice career in Europe.

 

Tyler Johnson (G, 6’4”, Fresno State)

This was the first time seeing Johnson and I came away impressed. In the running’s for top overall athlete in the tournament. Plays hard and does numerous things well on the court. Understands defensive rotations and is unafraid.

 

Markel Starks (PG, 6’1”, Georgetown)

Big time shot maker and shot taker who possess great confidence in his abilities. Great ball handler who was able to get to the paint at will. Can hit the NBA 3 and has a good floater in the lane. Got a little ahead of himself at times but I left impressed with his ability to both score and get teammates involved.

 

Patrick Miller (PG, 6’0”, Tennessee State)

The 5th leading scorer in the nation (23.7 ppg) showed the ability to run a team and be a playmaker for not only himself but also his teammates. Built like an NFL running back, Miller fought his way through screens and contact did not seem to faze him even at the PIT, where the officials let the players play more physical. Explosive athlete who can turn the corner on the P/R. Needs to improve NBA 3 point shooting and ability to go left. Excellent on-ball defender and attacked the rim hard. Should of earned himself a spot in Chicago.

 

Jake Odum (G, 6’4”, Indiana State)

One of the most consistent players here. Fundamentally sound and skilled. Doesn’t hurt you really in any way on either side of the floor. Underrated quickness. Good shooter who can hit shots with feet set and off the dribble.

 

 

 

Wings

Taylor Braun (SF, 6’7”, North Dakota State)

The Summit League Player of the Year showed solid fundamentals and some underrated athleticism all week. High IQ smooth player who can score at the rim with either hand. Solid ball handler who can create his own shot and hit the 3. Took some questionable shots at times and needs to improve quickness off the dribble. Put in good effort on defensive end but lost track of his man off the ball. Definitely earned himself a spot in Chicago and most likely will be on an NBA Summer League roster.

 

Fuquan Edwin (G/F, 6’6”, Seton Hall)

One of the best perimeter defenders here. Showed the ability to guard several positions, moved his feet well, and was in good defensive position. Showed the ability to create his own shot, but struggled with his shooting after game 1. Aggressive wing with a quick first step.

 

Josh Huestis (F, 6’7”, Stanford)

One of the best athletes at the event. Played both the 3 and the 4 this week, but at this point is more of an undersized 4 but has the tools to develop into more of a 3. Excellent rebounder and shot blocker who showed how he became Stanford All-Time leader in blocks. Showed a nice 1-dribble pull-up but shooting was inconsistent. Struggled to keep SG’s in front of him, but showed he could defend in the paint.

 

Shawn Glover (F, 6’7”, Oral Roberts)

Terrific overall scorer who can score both at the basket and on the perimeter. Solid athlete who did the little things well. Shot is a little slow and his midrange is better than his 3 at this point.

 

Drew Crawford (W, 6’5”, Northwestern)

Versatile player who defends and scorers. Shot release and form reminds me a little of Harrison Barnes. Can score in bunches. 3 pointer is streaky.

 

Bigs

Javon McCrea (F, 6’7”, Buffalo)

One of the most physically dominant players in attendance. McCrea is a bit undersized height wise for the PF position but he showed the ability to rebound at a high rate and embraced the physical play inside that the P.I.T allows. Defended and protected the paint. Showed the ability to put ball on floor for one dribble in a straight line drive. Hit multiple elbow jumpers throughout the 3 games but shot has hitch, gets little elevation, and shooting motion is at side of the head, which lead to major inconsistencies. Needs to continue to improve perimeter skills so he can make move to the SF, but overall the Mid-American POY had an excellent showing.

 

Isaiah Armwood (F, 6’9”, George Washington)

I thought Armwood was the best player on his team and one of the top rebounders at the event. Big time athlete who needs to add more strength in lower body. Struggled shooting the 3 but hit a couple of midrange jumpers in game 3.

 

Akil Mitchell (F, 6’8”, Virginia)

One of my favorite players at the event. Excellent defender who not only showed that he can block shots and play physical and tough inside but also showed he could defend guards adequately at the end of the shot clock on the perimeter. Gives 100% effort and energy on the floor and plays with passion. Tremendous rebounder. Showed he could face up and score the ball. Did some things that we did not see him do at UVA in the post. Love his demeanor and attitude. Struggles to go left and needs to continue to get stronger but his play this week may have garnered him an NBA roster spot.

 

Richard Solomon (C, 6’10”, California)

Big time rebounder on both ends who uses both his excellent wingspan and athleticism to keep the ball alive. Had numerous rim shaking dunks- tries to dunk everything. Runs the floor very well. Needs to get stronger especially in lower body. Is a tweener between the 4 and the 5 position. Rushed his shot a bit from 15’ but form looked solid. Showed the ability to hedge screens but is foul prone down low in paint. Loved his motor and activity throughout. The D- League should definitely be an option.

 

Shawn Jones (PF, 6’8”, Middle Tenn)

The Conference USA POY was one of the top shot blockers this year using excellent timing, solid athleticism, and activity from the weak side to protect the rim. The lefty showed the ability to knock down the trailing 15’ and was all over the boards. Is he willing to come out on perimeter to guard Pick and Pop? One of the more impressive bigs this week.

 

Davante Gardner (F, 6’8”, Marquette)

Was consistent all week on the glass and getting clean up points. Fluid and moves very well for size (290 lbs). Showed he could hit the midrange set shot and also showed patience and the ability to score in the post. Uses size and strength to his advantage- gets deep inside position and gets excellent rebounding position. Needs to improve positioning and he is a tweener. Body reminds me of Herb Pope who played at the PIT a couple of years ago and offensively he is similar to Zach Randolph. Go to move in post is spin move. His play this week earned him the MVP at the event.

 

Shayne Whittington (C, 6’11”, Western Michigan)

Showed the ability all week to stretch the floor out to the NBA 3-point line. Excellent movement- does not move like he is 6’11”. Settled for too many perimeter shots even though he hit a decent amount and lacks a true post move. Defended well and had a good overall showing.

 

Okaro White (F, 6’9”, Florida State)

Terrific athlete who is active and has a high motor. Runs the floor like a deer and did an excellent job on the defensive end. Needs to continue to add strength. Scrappy player who is quick on his feet. Shot is slow and he struggled to hit NBA 3 but stroke looked decent. I could see him playing in the D-League this year and getting a call up at some point.

 

Ronald Roberts (SF/PF, 6’8”, Saint Josephs)

An undersized 4 man who played both the 3 and the 4 at the PIT. Big time explosive athlete. Was aggressive scoring the basketball. Defends and rebounds well but needs to improve skill level.

Want more basketball scouting insight? Follow James Blackburn on Twitter, right now!

Jabari Parker to the NBA

Jabari Parker Duke NBA

Jabari Parker made it official today by announcing his intention to enter the 2014 NBA draft, surprising…well, no one, really. Parker is expected to be a top 5 pick in the draft and could even be considered a number one possibility. Parker seems to have the most mature game of any of the early entries although that likely means he’s about as good as he’s going to get, which is still good enough to make an NBA team better.

Joel Embiid Kansas basketball NBA draft

In a move that most expected after his solid year, Kansas’ Joel Embiid has declared for the NBA draft. At his news conference on Wednesday, Embiid shared his reasons for turning pro: “Looking at different scenarios and gathering info of what was best for me … either way was best for me. Talking to my mentor, it was best the choice.”

There was quite a bit of speculation leading up to this announcement that Embiid might have had a change of heart after it seemed a near certainty that he would make this move earlier in the season. Embiid suffered nagging injuries this season but still managed to average almost a double-double as a freshman. Many consider Embiid the number one pro prospect in this year’s draft with this announcement.

Want more basketball insight? You can follow Basketball Elite on Twitter, right now.

Mike Miller Heat Amnesty

The Miami Heat have decided that the will use the Amnesty clause on sharp shooter Mike Miller, which may save the team more than $30 million. The savings will likely come from luxury tax payment savings. The move is not entirely unexpected, although it was only a few days after team president Pat Riley stated that the team was looking to keep the core group of players intact.

However, the Heat reportedly tried to trade Miller, not because of his play but because of the mounting cost the team incurred when adding their “Big 3″ of Bosh, Wade and Lebron James. Miller was aware that such a move might be made and is taking it in stride:

‘I understand the business side of basketball,” Miller told The Associated Press. ”It’s a combination of being very, very thankful for the opportunity that I’ve had, but it hurts that we had a chance to do something very, very special and I’d love to have been a part of it.”

It’s not entirely bad for Miller, he had battled back from injuries last season to make a positive impact in this year’s title run with the team, and despite being off the roster he will still receive his salary of $6.2 million and $6.6 million for the next two seasons. However, the Heat won’t have to count Miller’s salary towards the cap.

NBA Draft 2013 Thoughts

The Cleveland Cavaliers shocked many pundits and draft analysts last night by choosing Anthony Bennett as the top overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft. While many considered this year’s draft to be a weaker draft, that’s a bit of a misnomer; most drafts don’t bring in elite stars, but rather bring in several solid players, several players who will ultimately be journeymen and role players, and quite a few players who won’t be in the league after five years. This is true every year, so why the 2013 draft would be considered significantly weaker is just conjecture.

At any rate, this draft is the last for commissioner David Stern, who won’t be missed, and leaves a league that is rife with unprofitable teams and a business structure based on a few players rather than solid team properties like every other league in the world. During Stern’s tenure, the NBA has limped along with weak profit margins – while the NFL’s profit margin has exploded over the $1 billion mark, and Major League Baseball has almost half a billion, the NBA is just around $183 million in profit (on $4.1 billion in revenue…you have to work really hard to lose that much margin, but Stern has managed to do it), just barely ahead of the NHL. Despite so many people writing that Stern is a fantastic commissioner, the reality is they aren’t business people. After all, a lot of people thought interest-only home loans with adjustable rates were a great idea, too.

But back to the NBA and it’s heralded draft night, there are almost certainly players who will be much better than the pundits think, and time will continue to tell which teams are horrible at evaluating players. The draft also set off several massive trades which may ultimately prove that Danny Ainge and the Celtics know more about building a team than most of the league.

So while no championship is won on draft night, it does show patterns for teams, and it’s always interesting to see which teams consistently blow it while others walk away with solid contributors every year.

The Business of Sports
From: Top Business Degrees

Rodney McGruder, who just finished his college basketball career at Kansas State, talks about playing in front of NBA scouts at the Portsmouth Invitational, what he’s working on and his favorite pair of shoes.

Florida Gator Kenny Boynton talks with us about his pro prospects at the 2013 Portsmouth Invitational and what he’s working on to get to the next level.